Apparently it went down something like this. Twelve seconds left in the district tournament, the game is all tied up, Highlands has the ball. Jake checks in to shoot. Now, Jacob has a ton of great qualities, I won't go into all of them, but performance under intense pressure was not one I would've listed. The crowd was so loud and hostile, the boys were not on their home court, they were on the opponent's court and adults and children alike were screaming at the top of their lungs-against my baby. Back to the game-Jake dribbles and pump fakes the three point shot his coach instructs him to take. He drives in and as the clock is ticking down, he is fouled. Are you kidding me? It is just too much for my heart to take. Anyway, he runs, unaffected, to the line. Swish. Nothing but net. Our coach calls a time out. What? Why? Apparently he is setting up the defense, we live in Kentucky, heaven forbid there be a Christian Laettner moment. Jacob comes out of the huddle and runs directly back to the line and once again, as if there wasn't a doubt, makes his shot. Cool as a cucumber. The opponents have the ball, it is tipped on an inbound pass. Highlands gets the ball back-game over-the 6th grade team are district champions! For an eleven year-old boy who lives and dies by sport, this must have been the most memorable events of his life. It was one of the proudest moments of mine. Not because he made the shot, those will come and go, but because he took the shot, because he competes, because he tries.
Except I left out one minor detail..... I wasn't there. Usually if I miss a game I would have been with one or both of our other children; not this time. This time I was out of town with friends on a girls weekend. Can you imagine the guilt? I still can hardly stand it! Luckily, I have relived this moment with him and his dad over and over, but my heart still aches. And thank goodness, he has spared me more heartbreak by not mentioning my absence. Maybe because had I been there, I would have jinxed it. I have a tendency to do that, and anyway I don't know if my heart could have taken it. My anxiety might have derailed us both. (if you didn't take Psychology 101 as an elective, they call this "rationalization".)
But guess what, as usual, as much as I try to make it so, it isn't about me. It was about him, his team, his tournament-and he did it. For that moment, he was a star.
|Cousins, Buddies, and Ballers
6th Grade Boys and Girls District Champions